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Sittengeschichte

(1,050 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Begriff und ModelleAls S. bezeichnete man im späten 18. Jh. und im 19. Jh. jene Gattung der Kulturgeschichte, die besonderes Augenmerk auf die Sitten und den Alltag einer vergangenen Epoche, Kultur, Nation oder Gesellschaft legt. Zwar blieb der (von Kant als Gegensatz zu »Naturgeschichte« gebrauchte) Begriff auf die dt. Sprache beschränkt [3]. Das Konzept einer histor. Darstellung aber, die aus Gebräuchen und Gepflogenheiten auf den zivilisatorischen Stand und den Charakter eines größeren Kollektivs zu schließen sucht, gehörte seit dem Humanismus zum Kernbestand der nzl. Hi…
Date: 2019-11-19

Memoiren

(1,370 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Begriff und BedeutungDer vom lat. memoria bzw. franz. mémoire ( »Gedächtnis«, »Erinnerung«) abgeleitete, in alle europ. Kultursprachen übernommene Plural-Begriff M. bezeichnete – wie seine lat. Pendants commentarii (»[Gerichts-]Protokoll«) und adversaria (»[Aufzeichnungen über] das vor Augen Liegende«) – einen juristischen, amtlichen oder diplomatischen Schriftsatz, der Vorgeschichte und Problematik eines zu verhandelnden Konflikts beschrieb. Auch Akademien betitelten die Publikationen ihrer Verhandlungen oft mit »M.« In …
Date: 2019-11-19

Held/in

(1,685 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ÜberblickIn allen Kulturen besitzen H. (griech. hḗrōs, lat. heros, ital. eroe, franz. héros, engl. hero) – mythische Gestalten zwischen Götter- und Menschenwelt – hohe Bedeutung für das Selbstverständnis der sie verehrenden Gruppen, Stände und Nationen. Indem H. deren Wertesystem beispielhaft verkörpern und in ihren Abenteuern siegreich vertreten, machen sie es sichtbar und attraktiv. Indem sie es zu äußerster Konsequenz steigern und dabei die Konflikte offenbaren, in die maßlose Tugend führen kann (Tragödie), korrigieren und modifizieren sie es, stärken es so…
Date: 2019-11-19

Konversation

(1,056 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. BegriffDer im 16. Jh. in die meisten europ. Sprachen übernommene Begriff K. (von lat. conversari, »verkehren«, »Umgang haben«; eigentlich: »gemeinsam umherschweifen«) bezeichnet ein typisches Ritual europ. Gebildeter der Nz.: das informelle Gespräch im kleinen Kreis, dessen wichtigstes Ziel es war, das jeweilige Thema möglichst gut, schön und unterhaltsam zu behandeln. Im Gegensatz zu institutionalisierten Formen der Kommunikation (etwa Verhör-, Lehr- oder Beichtgesprächen, Verhandlungen bei Hof, vor Gericht, in Rats-Gremien, kirchlichen, ständisc…
Date: 2019-11-19

Späthumanismus

(1,865 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Begriff Als Bezeichnung einer kulturgeschichtlichen Epoche zwischen Humanismus (= Hum.) und Barock wird S. oft benutzt, aber selten definiert. Nur darin stimmen alle gängigen Verwendungen überein, ihn zugleich als soziales Phänomen und als Ensemble von Bildungsinhalten zu betrachten. In die Literaturwissenschaft eingeführt wurde der (bislang nur in der dt.sprachigen Forschung gebräuchliche) Begriff 1931 von Erich Trunz [12], der S. als »Standeskultur« zumeist protest. Gelehrter im Alten Reich um 1600 beschrieb. Der Historiker Gerhard Oestreich erweiterte und dynam…
Date: 2019-11-19

Tafelkultur

(2,508 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
01. ÜberblickGemeinsames Speisen besaß und besitzt in allen Kulturen zentrale Bedeutung. Es konstituiert Gemeinschaft und ist unerlässlicher Bestandteil von Festen, Diplomatie und Friedensfeiern, ein Ritual der Zusammengehörigkeit, Verbrüderung und Freundschaft, eine Gelegenheit zu Repräsentation und ostentativem Statuskonsum. Seit dem 15. Jh. jedoch, im Zeichen der Renaissance, änderten sich bei den europ. Eliten Stil und Wahrnehmung solcher Mahlzeiten. Zusehends suchte man sie jetzt gemäß den neuen Regeln des Geschmacks und der guten Manieren als …
Date: 2019-11-19

Humanities

(2,002 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept and definition The concept and the term came into existence in late-19th century Germany, an outgrowth of the conviction developed within historicism that human will, thought, and activity could not be measured by the inductive methods of natural science and traced back to general rules, but must instead be studied as manifestations of each unique individuality in the specific shape they took. Hence, the Humanities were taken to comprise all academic disciplines (Disciplines, a…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dictionary

(1,606 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ConceptA dictionary (Latin  dictionarium; Italian  dizionario, vocabulario; French dictionnaireglossaire, Spanish  diccionario, German Wörterbuch) is a usually alphabetical register presenting the vocabulary of a language in whole or in part, either to comment on each word as such or to present its equivalent(s) in one or more other language(s). Dictionaries in the early modern period were by no means confined to pragmatic purposes of language tuition or mutual understanding in contexts of travel, pilg…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fate, destiny

(1,425 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Meaning and conceptThe idea of fate or destiny (French  fortune, destin, destinée; Italian  fato, destino; Spanis  fortuna, suerte, destino; German Schicksal) became in the early modern period a preferred mode for discussing the relationship between autonomy and necessity, that is, the question of freedom of will, and the driving forces of history and politics, in a secular context. As a synonym for whatever was peculiar, unalterable, and perhaps inexplicable in the course of the history of an individual, a peopl…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mazarinades

(667 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ConceptThe term  Mazarinade, used by scholars since 1850, derives from  La Mazarinade, the title of a 1651 Paul Scarron literary parody of the  Iliad (French  Iliade). It serves as an umbrella term for over 4,000 mostly highly polemical pamphlets, published in France at the time of the Fronde (1648-1653) in opposition to attempts by the crown to centralize the government and administration in the spirit of absolutism. Because these efforts were embodied by Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the confidant and chief minister o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Hero, heroine

(1,761 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. OverviewIn most cultures, heroes (Greek  hḗros, Latin  heros, Italian  eroe, French  héros, German Held) – mythical figures between the divine and human worlds – have great significance for the self-conceptions of the groups, classes (Estates of the realm), and nations (Nation, nationalism) that venerate them. By embodying the value system of these groups and representing it as victorious in the heroes’ adventures, they make it visible and attractive. By pushing the value system to its limit, thus revealin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Numismatics

(1,736 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept and meaningNumismatics (from the Latin numisma, “coin”) has since the 18th century denoted the scholarly discipline concerned with the analysis of coins. A distinction was drawn between a “commercial numismatics” that sought to establish the metal content and monetary value of coins and a “historical numismatics” exploring their historical and cultural significance [1]. In practice, however, the two aspects were intertwined. Coins old and new alike were a source of fascination because they “illustrated” renowned people, deeds, and eve…
Date: 2020-04-06

Ambition

(974 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Terminology Even in its original Latin form,  ambitio was a morally ambivalent concept. Since the time of Cicero, it meant not just the “circulation” of candidates for office to make themselves known to their voters but also a particularly insistent, ruthless pursuit of offices and dignities. After Augustine this attitude stood in almost irreconcilable conflict with the Christian commandment of humility and diffidence. Theologians of all persuasions disapproved of striving after “empty honor” (Luther). For Philipp Melanchthon, eergeizlich—the German word, which came i…
Date: 2019-10-14

Humanity

(866 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Humanist rootsThe term humanitas (Humankind, human being, “humaneness,” “sphere of human affairs”) adopted from Cicero in the 15th century achieved currency in European languages in the heyday of Humanism and remains to this day (English humanity; French  humanité; Italian  umanità; Spanish  humanidad) - especially in the context of literary-rhetorical education (Bildung) as originally delineated by the Humanist term  studia humanitatis (“studies of human affairs”). From the 16th century on, preliminary education was called  humanités in French; in English, hu…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dogs, keeping of

(2,036 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Types and functions The dog was widespread in all social classes in the early modern period, and undertook a range of functions. It was according to these, and not the breed (a concept that only achieved currency as a system of classification after 1850) that dog types were distinguished.Hounds used for hunting were of particular interest to contemporaries, following on from ancient authors, such as Xenophon ( Kynegetikós, c. 400 BCE; “On Hunting [With Dogs]”), M. Terentius Varro ( Rerum rusticarum libri tres, c. 50 BCE; “Three Books on Agriculture”), and Oppian ( Kynegetiká, c. 200…
Date: 2019-10-14

Gemmology

(1,064 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept Ancient engraved gems (from the Latin gemma, “precious stone”) are small reliefs inscribed into semiprecious stones (generally chalcedony, carnelian, agate, onyx, or hematite), rock crystal, or glass, depicting portraits, mythological figures and scenes, and often inscriptions or magical symbols (Character). Because they often show the legendary creature known from gnosticism, the so-called Abraxas (or Abrasax), with armored body and a cockerel's head, they were sometimes called “Abraxas ston…
Date: 2019-10-14

Educational policy

(2,295 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. DefinitionThe term '’educational policy'’, which did not come into common use until the 1960s, denotes the sphere of cultural policy that involves the educational system: the efforts of the government (Sovereign power) and elite leadership to promote their goals by establishing and favoring institutions of Bildung and instruction and to combat the corresponding institutions of the opposition. In this sense, educational policy was an important area of early modern politics, an essential element…
Date: 2019-10-14

Greatness

(1,523 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. The term In antiquity the attribute of greatness associated with gods, heroes, and kings had already been extended to leading members of the elite in city states and republics and elevated to the status of a universal virtue possessed by rulers. In the early modern period, greatness (Lat.   magnificentia, Ger. Größe, Ital. grandezza, Span. grandeza, French  grandeur) became the guiding ideal of the European aristocracy, the goal of noble ambition, and a central topic of discussion among the nobility. There proved to be a productive tension betwe…
Date: 2019-10-14

Libertine

(1,684 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ConceptThe Latin legal term  libertinus (“freedman”), which in the Acts of the Apostles (6,9) attaches to the persecutors of St. Stephen, passed into French ( libertine) around 1480 via vernacular biblical commentaries, and from there it entered the other modern European languages, including English. From 1545, Calvinist and Catholic preachers were using it to discredit morally those who did not unconditionally accept their dogmas. The word “libertinage” or “libertinism” (French libertinage, also libertinisme) emerged from 1600 to denote the religious skepticis…
Date: 2019-10-14

German New Humanism

(1,372 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. The phenomenonThe German term  Neuhumanismus (“Neohumanism, New Humanism”), coined by Friedrich Paulsen in 1885 [11. 191–195], denotes an educational movement (Bildung) that originated in the 1770s in Germany in reaction against utilitarian concepts of education rooted in the Enlightenment. In contrast to education in Germany’s western and eastern neighbors, it celebrated the ancient Hellenic world as the epitome of true, good, and beautiful humanity (Antiquity, reception of). In the first half of the 19t…
Date: 2019-10-14
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